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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  June 23, 2014 11:30pm-12:01am EDT

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tavis: good evening. i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with wolfgang hawke. the best-selling author of cookbooks. his latest is called "wolfgang puck makes it healthy." we are glad you joined us for a conversation with wolfgang puck coming up now.
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>> the california endowment. health happens in neighborhoods. learn more. tavis: and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ tavis: you would expect wolfgang puck would have won every major award in the world, which he has, including being inducted in the culinary hall of fame. he is also a best-selling
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author. his book is called "wolfgang puck makes it healthy." >> we have to eat well and exercise, especially if you get old like me. if you are young you can eat what you want. tavis: not hardly. as i flipped right to the back i thought it was so cool you included -- >> exercises. healthy.u can eat that's one picture. i'm going to show you another i love. this is you and your son working out with you. son working out with him. >> and at the end is a picture of the whole family. people to take this healthy thing seriously.
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eat with people to their heads. i have two small children. we go to the farmers market. good things and cook them simply. we have grilled vegetables, fish, meat. everything in moderation so you don't eat fried chicken and the next day at hamburger. i think it's really important we teach the children how to eat better. and portion sizes. portion sizes.e i wanted a state for one, not for two. for one, not for too. i tell everybody you should eat just enough that when you go home you can make love and follow sleep. which i have probably
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done a number of times. even though you give small portion sizes you want to order another round. more order in one their. >> a lot of people overdo it. once in a while you splurge. i think if you are at home or you go to a restaurant be careful, because at night especially. we are supposed to eat at the morning and during the day when we are active. most people eat a big meal at night. when i go to a restaurant with my wife and kids i order a lot of appetizers, and my wife and i share a state for two. -- steak for two. tavis: you go out to eat other places? >> i go out to eat. will goo, angelini's. i
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where it is kid friendly. most of the time we end up at the bel air hotel because it is our restaurant. also, the kids can run around. they have beautiful grounds. it's a lot of fun. tavis: how is the industry responding to the fact there is this demand for kid friendly environment? i look at the way las vegas has changed. demanding thing in the restaurant industry? >> i think it the parents job to take the kids out and teach them how to act. if you come with businesspeople or your wife you come to dinner, and next to you you have rowdy kids, it might spoil your evening. if you see them talk, have a good time, you going to say, that was a nice family. often i see where the parents
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let the kids run through the restaunt. dangerous, but i want to teach the kids early how to eat well. a good pizza maybe. a piece of fish. that's really important. tavis: this is a big question, but how did you go about the process of trying to decide the foods and recipes to go in this book? >> seven years ago or eight years ago i started to have problems skiing and playing tennis. i said, what am i going to do when i am 65 years old? i'm going to be an old man at home. i have young kids. i cannot do that. i have to change the way ie eight and the way i exercise. before i used to go on the hill with my dog once a month and say, that is exercise. tavis: once a month. [laughter] >> and i was proud of myself.
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a guy hasnta monica an exercise program, and he says, you have to exercise consistently. it doesn't have to be an hour. even if you do 20 minutes or 10 minutes it's better than nothing. he set up an exercise program i could follow which was easy at the beginning, whereas now i am in much better shape. i can do weights much higher. i can jump ropes instead of doing 30 seconds when i started out, i can do five minutes. i am not going to challenge mayweather yet. tavis: mayweather appreciates that. actual food,to the how is the book laid out in terms of categories? appetizers, soups, breads, desserts, main courses, food, fish, meat. everything is laid out.
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there is also nutritional information so you know if you are on a low sodium diet, you can say, i will add something wanted people to eat healthy and well but also delicious and tasty. a lot of this is asian style chinese style steamed fish. you are going to say steaming is touring, but you have chile's and green onions. it's delicious. it's one of the dishes are good friend sidney poitier orders all the time when he comes to spago. tavis: this book is laid out in such a beautiful way. these photos are amazing. >> even when you eat you eat with your eyes first. if it looks good you are already happy. you say, i can't wait to taste it. we always have the first impression. and eyes and you smell it
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tasted. if you buy good ingredients and cook them right they look good. willu cook them right they have a beautiful color. if you overcook them they are mushy. my seven-year-old if i overcooked the broccoli and it gets mushy, he sends it. chef. send it back to the you train your seven-year-old. i feel sorry for any chef who has to feed your kid. >> my eight-year-old loves white truffles. we go to the italian restaurant, and they have pasta, and he says, can i have mine with white truffles? is eight. he >> and expensive kid. tavis: since you mentioned sidney poitier, this happened i think the first time years ago -- i have been honored and blessed in my life to be a friend of his. i think the first time i wanted was a bustleago it
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occasion. i was celebrating with friends. no juice to get into spago and get a good table. somehow mr. poitier taught me the story of how you met. i think i'm this occasion i picked up the phone, called him, and asked if he could help me get in on a particular night. he made a phone call. 10 minutes later i am in spago. i got a nice table and had a good time. met is a of how you great story. >> i was a young chef in the south of france. one of the great restaurants. the owner was 73 years old. he was my example for the rest of my life. i modeled my career off this guy. one day i see this beautiful blonde girl and this handsome african-american man, and i just saw one of his movies.
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i camera memory if it was in the heat of the night or one of his .reat movies, and we saw him then we go to the swimming pool which we were not supposed to because we were employed. we were not supposed to hang out with the guests. heent there, and he says lives in los angeles. he told me where he came from in the bahamas. i got really interested. fast forward, and he was having dinner with the lead while there wilder is billy originally from austria. i go to see him. i said, you probably are not going to remember me, but i met you with joanna. sure enough, he says, i remember you. he was a good actor. tavis: he acted like he remembered you.
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>> since then he became friendly all the time. we had an open kitchen. they became good friends to the point that now he is actually the godfather of my young children. if there is anybody in the world to look up to, it's him. he is a class above. anybody who hears him speak, the way he carries himself, if you are going to be a man, i want to be sidney poitier. he doesn't have to do nothing. tavis: he's a rare example of somebody who is when you get to know them as advertised. what you heard about him and the roles you have seen him play, he is the op-ed big deal. >> what you see is what you get. him,ay i did a favor for and he said, what can i do for
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you when they? i would like to give something back to you. i said, you can speak at my funeral, but keep it short. he can do it. this is a town full of celebrities. you feed all the stars. how do you manage that? how do you own the restaurant you own in this town? you do this with tracy. >> tracy is amazing. tavis: your team treats everybody that way. everybody comes to have a food experience, but it's also the way they treat people. >> you are right. it the whole experience. if i give you the best food and the waiter is not nice you are
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going to say, i am going somewhere else to spend my money. who needs that? package.t's a whole we are in the hospitality business. it doesn't matter if they come from iowa or beverly hills or manhattan. a lot of times people make reservations two months ahead and have this expect haitian of coming to y of our restaurants, and if we would it be nice to them they would come home and be disappointed. if i would only go over to sidney poitier or lionel richie or michael douglas or someone like that, they would say, he didn't come to me. i make a point to go to every table. tavis: i see you walking around all the time. >> i think it's really important we treat people special, no matter how famous or not famous they are. tavis: how do you manage all
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this? all the things you are into, how do you manage all that from a quality standpoint? >> i tell everybody in the restaurant, the first thing is would buy the best ingredients and try not to screw them up. which means we have to train people technique to do it right, to cook it the right way. for simple chicken we have to steer it in a very hot pan to get the skin crispy. if it is fish we have to keep it on its own. it might get to ride out. we have a school where we train people the right way. that is why when we open a restaurant it is easier because we have already the right people. we just opened one in dubai. the bel air.at
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he went there for months ago. the chef went there three months ago. he is there. i have the whole team there. they can ensure the quality is right. nobody is going to tell me, it is a little cheaper. quality. are for that's what people expect from us. that's what we have to deliver all the time. -- thishat's your sense and food thatnic has been transformed? where do you come down on this notion of people believing organic is better and this whole conversation about how we are going to eat our food in coming years? >> ideally speaking we would like to have food with no pesticides done with natural
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fertilizers and things like it cannotthe truth is happen everywhere. if you live in kansas city and nebraska, in the wintertime, where are you going to get the produce from? central valley, california, or florida. its factory farms. it's not the quality what we have. in california we are lucky. we have great fresh ingredients all year round. not everybody is that lucky. it's a money issue. organic vegetables can be really expensive compared to regular ones. for less than half the price of what i buy at the farmers market. it's the small farmer who grows a little bit of this and a little bit of that. we bring it to town, and we buy it. we are
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in an affluent neighborhood. they should make the money because that's how it works. i tell people to eat fresh whenever you can. is better. all natural is better. mainly, eat less processed food. you know in the supermarket people buy all of this processed food. if you don't know the ingredients in one dish, don't buy it. you look at a loaf of red. it stays soft all year long, but you don't want it. it has no nutrition. people get bigger and bigger. big problem because we don't need the right things. processed food has more salt, fat, and sugar. you gain weight very easy. tavis: your point about the wealthy and the not so wealthy, say nothing of living in
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california, because where is there greater disparity anyway? it's not something we are proud of. the gap is wide. too often there are books like these put out were even if you want to eat healthy, you have never heard of half of these items. nowhere in your neighborhood can you find them. how do we put together books like these that are applicable they can findhere the ingredients? whichan put fish in here you will never see in the supermarket, but my friends are , that's really cool. he has all these ingredients you really can't get in a regular supermarket. this book, all the ingredients you can find in your local supermarket. sometimes you might have to look in the asian section to get soy ,auce or sweet thai chili sauce
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but once you get used to the flavors it's easy to find it. if not, ask the store owners. it their business to know what they have. in the asian section they have a lot of different spices a lot of people don't use everyday, but once you get used to a little spice, not for the kids, but if you cook it for yourself, spice it up a little bit. tavis: what's your process for the stuff you create? you changed the menu. i was anxious to get there. what's your process for creating new dishes? fax in the car i think about say, let's make something special. let's make it this way or that way.
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you can sauté, grill it. why not cook it for a hot charcoal grill? you don't need that much on it. technique is important. if i go to the farmers market, sometimes i dream about it. many times i make it and throw them away. it tasted good in my head, but it's not that good. that's why we have a big garbage can. >> of trial and error? >> it's trial and error. sometimes it takes me a long time to make the dishes. when i started to make peking
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style., i don't know how many ducks i messed up. probably in the hundreds. i tried to get the meat juicy and tender. i had them hanging in my sink. they fell off the rack. it took me months to do it right. bread even. right now i am cooking a lot of gluten-free. we started to make a gluten-free bread. a lot of people are celiac's and things like that. from where my wife comes from, ethiopia. i added gluten-free flour and olives and maybe a little spice. some raisins and dried fruit. i can eat gluten-free bread like that anytime. now we are making gluten-free pizza dough.
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the flavor was there already. make thin crust. >> you are going to work on your bread? >> i have to go back to work on gluten-free. it's important to help people who cannot tolerate gluten to give them something to eat. tavis: i want to let you go. recently the director jon program andon this he was working on his movie chef, and you put him through the paces. you cracked the whip. if you are so smart, make me an omelette. you could see him start to sweat . finally i said, ok. he said, why you don't show me.
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i give him the nonstick pan so it is a little easier. did a good job. i know he is spending time in the chef so if he is playing a chef you should know a little bit. now hegot him straight. is getting all the rest of us straight with a new book. >> if jon favreau can cook, you can cut. tavis: the book is called "wolfgang puck makes it healthy." i think you will enjoy it. enjoyed this conversation. thank you for your time. >> i am happy to be here. i am in hawaii in the swimming pool. i swim up to the bar, and they say, where are you from? i said, i am from los angeles.
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they said, before. i said indianapolis. they said, i didn't know they had such a take accent. -- thick accent. tavis: i love it. can anything good come out of indiana? yes. that's our show for tonight. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. >> join me next time for a conversation about affirmative action and with john lloyd young, who will also perform for us. that's next time. we will see you then. ♪
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>> the california endowment. learn more. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with dexter filkins of the new yorker magazine, and the deepening crises in iraq. >> these militia, they're big and they're basically controlled by the iranians. so gives iranians a kindf huge lever here. but boy, once this takes off, every household in iraq has an ak47 in it and an assault rifle. everybody knows that. when you tell every able bodied iraqi male to get out there and start fighting, that's rock and roll. >> rose: time for battle. >> it can get out control. >> rose: we continue then with the story of the conviction of three al jazeera in cairo we talk to ehab al-shihabi and sue turton of al jazeera. >> this

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